A MUM recovering from a serious brain injury showed her determination during an emotional charity effort.
Rachel Harry, 35, of Llwyn Onn in Wrexham, suffered a hypoxic brain injury during the birth of her daughter Freya in July 2012 after an undetected blood clot caused her to have a heart attack.
She is still undergoing intensive physiotherapy to learn to walk again as well as speech therapy in order to communicate.
Yesterday Rachel, who worked as a hairdresser before the injury, took up a pair of scissors for the first time in five years to cut her friend Louise Rees’ hair for charity at the salon she used to work at, Andrew Laurence Hair Studio in Chester Street.
Rachel was joined by Freya, mum Karan, sister Emma, five-year-old nephew Harry, nine-year-old niece Megan and Louise’s mum Diane – and was helped in performing the cut by hairdresser and good friend Claire Ellis.
Karan Harry said: “She did really well – it was a bit of a struggle for her but she would not give up and she had help from her sister and her friend.
“It was very emotional. She managed to cut one ponytail. It was a massive achievement for her – she was amazing.
“She was passionate about being a hairdresser from a young age. We come to the salon often and she lights up when she’s here.”
The hair will be donated to the Little Princess Trust – a charity which makes real hair wigs for children who have lost their own hair through illness – and Louise also raised about £1,300 towards Rachel’s ongoing private treatment.
Karan added: “Rachel has to pay for her private physio. She is starting to take steps now, it is amazing.
“We are seeing significant progress lately but the fine motor skills are a real challenge for her. Recently she has started to stand unaided, which is a huge step.
“She has also started to hold a fork, so using scissors is a massive achievement.”
Rachel’s sister Emma Jones said: “It is very emotional to see how she struggles to hold the scissors.
“She has such a drive to do it. When we first started practicing she wanted to use her right hand, because she was right handed, but she just couldn’t quite get it.
“Instead of giving up she kept on trying and trying and eventually started using her left hand. She is so determined.”
She added that in addition to the many supporters of Rachel – who Karan said have donated an estimated £80,000 to £90,000 for Rachel’s treatment fund over the last four years – the family were very grateful to hair and beauty wholesalers Aston and Fincher, who offered a pair of left handed scissors at a discount for Rachel to use on the day.
Louise Rees, who is originally from Wrexham but now lives in Switzerland, first became friends with Rachel in 2009 when they were both bridesmaids at a mutual friend’s wedding in Mauritius.
She said: “Rachel struggled a bit but she did a really good job.
“I was nervous because it is a lot of hair to get chopped off but I was happy and excited to do it because it is for Rachel.
“It seemed a shame for the hair to go to waste so it is going to the Little Princess Trust.
“It has been long in the waiting. I said ages ago to Rachel I would grow my hair and she could cut it. I thought it would grow quicker but it has taken about three years.”
To find out more about Rachel’s story or to donate to her fund, visit http://rachelharry.co.uk/